Potential Investors Wary of Business Climate

Potential investors were nibbling around Phnom Penh this week, but so far they have yet to bite.

Business representatives from Denmark, Singapore and other Asian countries met with senior government officials to get a flavor for the country and inquire about the costs and procedures for setting up a business here. They sought to invest in a range of sectors, including garments, electricity, health care, tourism and agriculture.

“It’s just the proof that when people wrote that…the absence of government is harmful and this and that…this shows you that it’s business as usual,” Sok Chenda, secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambo­dia, said Thursday.

“I’d like to take out from everyone’s mind that life is blocked” because of the government deadlock, he said.

But while investors are poking around, major investment deals have yet to be signed. And though it is not the only deterrent to investment, the lack of a gov­ern­ment clearly matters.

“There is still a feeling of insecurity when orders are placed in Cambodia” because a government has yet to form, Van Sou Ieng, chairman of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said Wednesday.

“A few garment factories in China have delayed investment in Cambodia because they are waiting for a government to be stabilized,” he said.

A group of 14 Danish investors met with government officials and local business leaders this week as part of a fact-finding mission organized by the Danish

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